Professional Development

Applying for the CUPEU Professional Development fund (Article 10.09), is an opportunity for members to improve their professional skills particularly for enhancing their work for the University. Here’s what you need to know:

1. A Note to Members

2. Eligibility

3. Ineligibility

4. Funding Approval

5. Application Process

6. Payment Options

7. Travel Policy

8. Expenses and Reimbursement Process

9. Testimonials

1. A Note to Members

The Professional Development processing structure is based on considerable feedback from the membership and careful deliberation on how to best serve it as a whole. The maximum amount for members to request is a significant amount of money at $4,757.10, so it is within reason that every requirement of the current process is observed and completed correctly.

The University, CUPEU Union and CUPEU Professional Development Committee will not tolerate rude behaviour from members at any part of the PD process (application, (dis)approval, reimbursement).

To minimize frustration, it is highly recommended that you start planning, if not preparing, months in advance so if you have questions or concerns, you can get in touch with CUPEU to help you prepare your application properly and in a timely manner.

If you will not need or do not use the approved PD funds (e.g. due to event cancellation or scheduling conflict); let the VP Special Projects know as soon as possible.

Try looking for the best cost-effective means for travel and accommodation arrangements; it would be nice to dispense funds to as many CUPEU members as possible.

2. Eligibility

To be eligible for Professional Development funding, you must:

  • be a permanent employee who has completed the probation period OR be in a contract for three consecutive years in the same job.
  • be a signed CUPEU member (you must have attended a CUPEU Welcome Meeting and signed the CUPEU membership form).
    • To set up a meeting, call the CUPEU office at ext. 8603 or email
    • You’ll need to bring $2 to this meeting for the one-time application fee required by the Quebec Labour Code.
  • not have been awarded CUPEU Professional Development funds in the current fiscal year (May 1, 20XY  to April 31, 20XZ).

3. Ineligibility

Members NOT eligible to apply for CUPEU Professional Development:

  • are on contract for less than three years in the same job
  • are on time-sheets
  • are on leave or will be on leave at the time of their proposed activity (sick, maternity/paternal)
  • are still completing their probation period
  • are not signed members of the union and have not attended the CUPEU Welcome Meeting (contact if you’re unsure / would like to schedule a meeting. In light of COVID-19, a Zoom meeting can be arranged)
  • have paid for their proposed Professional Development activity prior to applying for the CUPEU Professional Developent Fund

No funds shall be allocated for the purchase of equipment (e.g. computers, cameras, photocopiers, office chairs, etc.).

4. Funding approval

Priority for approval goes to requests relating to your current job and where you stand in this order:

  • first-time applicants
  • applicants who’ve not applied in the last three years
  • applicants who’ve not applied in the last two years
  • everyone else

Approvals are based on these considerations and the availability of funds. The Professional Development Committee’s decisions are final.

5. Application Process

1. Members can apply digitally using the digital application form. Download it here (when prompted, save this file as a PDF). You’ll need Adobe Acrobat to fill it out).

  • Send your application to Use “ PD Round X (Year) Application – Your Name” as the subject line. Attach these two files:
    • Your application form (Year(XXXX)-PD-YourName-application.pdf)
    • All supporting documents for the specific activity as ONE combined PDF (Year(XXXX)-PD-YourName-supporting-documents.pdf)

2. Fill all required fields. Avoid being disqualified for incomplete information by ensuring that you:

  • disclose previous PD funds you’ve been awarded and when (month, year)
  • provide sufficient travel information and budget amounts (e.g. cost of books)
  • provide the exchange rate used
  • verify that you are not claiming meals covered by event organizers. Applications are considered incomplete without this verification
  • provide a scanned PDF of the signed Supervisor’s Approval of Absence Form if time off work is required
    • For conferences
      • Itinerary / program of events
      • Registration fee
      • Approximate travel fare (ie. flight, train, bus)
      • Car mileage
      • Hotel accommodation fee
      • Meals
    • For courses and workshops
      • Program and course / workshop description
      • Cost
    • For membership and association dues
      • Description of organization/association
      • Cost
    • For books, magazines and software
      • Description
      • Cost
  • Each application will have different requirements based on the type of activity or supplies requested. At a minimum, all applications must include the following:
    • Application Form
    • Description of request
    • Form(s) specific to the activity(ies)
    • Total Budget form

3. The deadline to submit properly completed applications for each round is 5:00 p.m. This is a firm deadline and there are no exceptions. You will receive an email confirming that we received your application. The application deadline dates for the upcoming rounds of this fiscal year are:

Round 2: Sept. 7, 2021
Apply starting Aug. 24, 2020
For September (second half) – December

Round 3: Dec.7, 2021
Apply starting Nov. 23, 2021
For January – April (first half) activities

Round 4: Mar. 1, 2022 
Apply starting Feb. 14, 2022
For April (second half) – July (first half) activities

Round 1: Jun. 7, 2022 
Apply starting May. 24, 2022
For July (second half) – September (first half) activities

Total funding for each round is limited to one-fourth of the fund’s value on June 1 of the current budget year.

4. The Professional Development Committee meets two weeks after the application deadline to review applications. Successful applicants will be notified by email from the VP of Special Projects soon thereafter.

• Applications for events, workshops or learning/ development activities that take place within this 2-week window will not be considered.
• Plan ahead. If your conference is scheduled for Sept 24-26, 2018, apply in the June 2018 round. If you are not sure when to apply, get in touch with the union.

5. You can proceed to pay for your proposed expenses only when your application is approved; expenditures made otherwise will not be refunded whether the application is approved or not.

6. Payment Options

The University no longer advances cash except in the following ways:

Corporate Card: If you hold or you have access to a Department Corporate card, you may use it to charge all your Professional Development expenses. Please fill out your US Bank expense report as soon as your statement is out to avoid interest charges. Send the expense report to VP Special Projects at

Pre-payment of Invoices*: You may request an invoice made out to Concordia University and referencing your Name from the providers of service e.g. Hotel, Conference Registration

University Travel Agents: For advance booking of flights, you can use one of Concordia University’s affiliated travel agencies by completing a Travel Voucher form* and include supporting documents (conference program) for immediate reimbursement. Please leave the Approver’s name and email on the Travel Voucher blank.

*This should be sent directly to VP Special Projects at

•  It is the member’s responsibility to keep a copies of their Travel Voucher and supporting documents.

•  Once the completed form and supporting documents are received, the submission is forwarded to Human Resources for approval and Accounts Payable for processing, this usually takes 24 to 48 hours.

7. Travel policy

You need to read the following documents from the university:

8. Expenses and reimbursement process

Once the committee informs you which activities and amounts were approved, you can begin to pay for those activities (expenses paid for before approval cannot be claimed). Make sure to keep all receipts. You will be responsible for any expenses that exceed the approved amounts. All expense reimbursements can only be claimed after the PD Activity except if you follow payment options stated in “6. Payment Options”.

  • Fill out Concordia University Expense Report Form (available online. You can use this example for reference (you’ll find frequently used account codes here). Send your claim via e-mail to: (Subject: PD Round X 20XX Expense Report: Last Name, First Name)
  • If you used a travel voucher: Include the amount awarded for travel (indicated on your travel voucher) under the Expense Report form’s “Description (Type of Expenditure)” section. List this amount again on “Less Prepaid Air/Train Fare” line and include supporting documents (e.g. detailed original receipts, credit card statement) as well as a copy of the travel voucher form in your claim.
  • Please print the FINALIZED Online Form and Sign It.
  • Include supporting documents (e.g. invoices or receipts and/or boarding passes). Make copies for good measure.
  • Keep all receipts. Paste small-sized receipts (e.g. meal bills, taxi receipts, gas receipts) on a sheet of paper by expense category.
  • Boarding passes are required to validate your travel expense claims.
  • If you paid for expenses with foreign currency, provide credit card statements that highlight transactions or include Bank of Canada’s day exchange rates with your claim if cash was used.
  • In addition to the expense report, you must send a one-page summary of how the PD activities enriched you professionally no later than 60 days following your PD activity to VP Special Projects (email a digital version to: and your Approval Supervisor. Failure to do so jeopardizes the status of your next request for Professional Development funds.


Important Notes

  • It is the member’s responsibility to submit a complete and properly filled expense report with supporting documents; failure of which, the reimbursement process might take more time.
  • Expense reports must be submitted within 30 days from the approved activity’s date, except for those paid using the Corporate Card which must be submitted as soon as you get your US Bank Statement.
  • You are responsible for any expenses that exceed the approved amounts.
  • Incomplete or incorrectly filled claim forms will be returned to you. There will be no cross-subsidization of expenses in different categories (i.e. over-budgeted airfare cannot be subsidized by under-budgeted accommodations when making the expense claim), you will be reimbursed for amounts less than or equal to the value of each item listed in your application’s budget. For example:

Click to enlarge

  • Processing a claim takes approximately 3-4 weeks, at which point Financial Services will reimburse funds to your bank account and email a notification to you.

9. Testimonials

Here’s what successful applicants have had to say about the fund:

“For past ten years I have benefited from CUPEU Professional Development fund. I use it to pay the annual fee of my professional engineer membership and sometimes, I use it to acquire technical books. I find that our VPs make great effort to prepare the on-line form, which makes the application easy to do –really appreciated and thanks again!” –Engineering Specialist, ECE Department

“The insights acquired through professional networking opportunities funded by the CUPEU Professional PD funds have equipped me with techniques that I can put into practice immediately.  The training materials are made available to all members of my department.  Continuous professional education is very important particularly in Higher Ed environment, so don’t miss your chance, the application procedure is simple, apply now.” –Internal Auditor

“Attending the conference was a positive experience, one that I feel really helped me to grow in my professional development, for my job as an Assistant Prospect Researcher and for the particular duties that I complete in my role on a regular basis.

The new skills that I learned have given me confidence in my abilities as a writer. I feel that my writing has improved as a result of attending this workshop.

I am very thankful that I had this opportunity to develop professionally for my work in the University Advancement office. The experience was pleasurable and useful and I hope to have the support and take advantage of another opportunity like this in the future.” –Assistant Prospect Researcher, University Advancement

“I am very happy to report that I wrote and passed the Certified Fund Raising Executive certification!  

The CFRE exam is notoriously difficult and many people do not succeed the first time they write it. This is why the AFP CFRE Refresher course was essential to my success. Following this experience, I feel that I am a better-rounded professional than I was at the outset.

I am now able to use the credentials in my email signature and on my business card. Achieving the CFRE is a personal and professional milestone for me and will certainly lead to greater career opportunities in the future. I am grateful to the CUPEU Professional Development committee for making this possible!” –Interim Principal Director of Development, Faculty of Fine Arts

Next PD Deadline: Sept. 7, 2021

Documents to download:

Useful contacts

ext .8603

VP Specials Projects:
ext .4495


Round 1: Jun. 1, 2021 
Apply starting May. 17, 2021
For July (second half) – September (first half) activities

Round 2: Sept. 7, 2021
Apply starting Aug. 24, 2021
For September (second half) – December

Round 3: Dec. 7, 2021
Apply starting Nov. 22, 2021
For January – April (first half) activities

Round 4: Mar. 1, 2022
Apply starting Feb. 14, 2022 
For April (second half) – July (first half) activities